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Foreign workers rights in China?

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kloke:
Hello guys,

Been dealing with a very stressful situation in the school where i am teaching, it´s been 6 months and i came to the conclusion that i need to end the employment contract with them, they have been giving me no condition for teaching my technical classes, the school management is just absurdly disorganised in every possible way, just to give you an example they only gave me the teaching schedule for this semester one day before class started, I have no access to class preparation material, no teaching support in any way, I have no physical material for class, the students only can communicate with me through a translator as they don´t speak English, and i am completely alone in professional therms, no foreign teachers I am just the only one, only have 2 Chinese colleagues that i can communicate in English and the school has been ignoring my simple requests since day 1.

In these 6 months i really have tried to make things work for me and the school, i have been using my own material, using my own payed resources (personal laptop, video camera, professional photo camera, professional sound recorder, personal software, etc.), i even spent my own money and bought a lot of technical books i should have brought with me but the school lied and said they would have everything here when i arrived, that i would have access to all the material i needed. So it´s been really stressful to work in these conditions, i sometimes work 16 hours a day giving classes and preparing classes and next day i don´t even have a class with a computer for the students, imagine trying to give a software class to the student without any computer, or giving a video production course without a camera, on top of this the students are really off, they don´t even care about anything much less what i am teaching, but that´s their problem! I just get really frustrated into putting so much energy into my work and having nothing in return besides my paycheck at the end of each month, as i did not came here for the money it´s a really sad professional situation, i have never been so disrespected professionally as i have been here.

But i am not here to make complaints, just wanted to know if there is any legal Chinese law or government bureau that i can activate to protect me in therms of contract, as the school will make me pay the airfare ticket, medical examinations, visa and some more paper work stuff they paid when i arrived if i breach the 3 year employment contract, as i am being forced to quit due to the working conditions (it´s really impossible to lecture the students), just wanted to know if i have any chance of just making the working contract invalid and just go my way.
Another doubt is if i still can keep my z working visa after the contract is broken with the school?

All the help will be appreciated as i just feel really weird in this situation :(

Aussie Mike:
You need to take this up with the PSB. I had a bad experience with a school a few tears after I arrived. I wrote a letter of complaint to the PSB about the situation, in English.  The matter was dealt with. The school closed soon after, not because of my letter but because it was another complaint they had about it.

I suggest you find someone to escort you to translate for you but put it in writing.  They will assist you and you should be able to change jobs for a much better one. The PSB is concerned about these disrespectful schools and will take the matter seriously.

Good luck, if you need help finding a better job, call me.

kloke:
Thank you very much Mike, I will do that after tomorrow, I already have the complaint written! Tomorrow i will have the meeting with the school Dean and then decide how things will go from there, depending on his reaction, but it´s really good and i feel much better to have one more option up my sleeve :)

I really appreciate your precious advice and i will contact you when all of this is sorted out.

x0vash0x:
situation isn't weird, it's relatively normal. Situations like this happen surprisingly often in China.

If you go through the proper channels, you can probably keep your Z Visa until it expires. The proper thing to do is go to the PSB.

The biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you want to stay in China. If you want to stay in China, then you really should go to the PSB. If you're thinking about going back home, then just get a ticket and leave.

Also, I high recommend you tell us what the school is so future individuals can stay away.

kloke:
Thank you all for your great support, wise and kind advice.

Before i came to China i had read in some forums including this one similar situations to what i have been through this past 6 months, but i searched for this school´s references and everyone talked positive about it, and the contract terms seamed reasonable at the time, so i signed everything without first coming to the school and check everything by myself which proved to be a huge mistake.
One thing that might be different in my situation from a normal English school foreign teacher is that i was given 5 different technical subjects to teach during these 2 semesters, so if i was teaching English in a school with just one subject in the same situation I think i could handle the situation, even with stress, so my problem here is really my mental stability and my overall health, if you imagine you have to prepare 5 different very complex subjects each week without even having access to a single book to work with, limited Chinese internet, plus no access to any material from past years and you even have to elaborate a full year teaching program for each of the different subjects, i think this would make many people just insane :(
I am not complaining here it´s just for you guys to have a clear idea of what kind of mental pressure i have been going through these past 6 months.

I have not decided what my plans are, but i think i will not want to work for a Chinese school anymore in the future, maybe other kind of work or maybe i will apply for a Chinese foreign scholarship to study the Chinese language which was one of my main objectives when i first came here and i feel ashamed that i only know a few simple words and numbers :( would be nice to keep my Z visa, but let´s see what will happen when i talk with them.

After all is sorted out with the school management i will write a full report here on the forum, so other people at least know what they are getting into before they sign any contract with this institution. For now i just prefer not to mention the school´s name as the resignation meeting is tomorrow.


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